Road accidents kill more people than terrorism: Murad Saeed

Accidents will cost the economy $11bn in 2020
Jan 04, 2020
RAWALPINDI: Oct18 –A view of massive traffic jam as due to VVIP Movement on Murree Road Faizabad. ONLINE PHOTO by Waseem Khan
Pic18-055 RAWALPINDI: Oct18 –A view of massive traffic jam as due to VVIP Movement on Murree Road Faizabad. ONLINE PHOTO by Waseem Khan

The traffic violation fines on national highways and motorways were revised to decrease the number of road accidents said Federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed on Friday.

The objective of this revision was to promote a culture of responsible driving and maximise the safety of commuters on the national road network, he added. Road traffic accidents have killed more people in the country than terrorism, the federal minister said.

“More than 27,500 people were killed in road mishaps in Pakistan during 2016, that was almost three times greater than the number of combined deaths in terrorism, 956, and homicide, 8,516 for the corresponding year,” he said, citing the World Health Organisation data.

Road traffic accidents were a major cause behind the death of young people, he added. For the first time, the government had formulated the Road Safety Policy to meet the targets set under the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN 2030 Global Road Safety Performance.

He said the economic cost of road traffic accidents in middle-income countries was estimated to be as high as five percent of the GDP.

Murad Saeed said Pakistan’s GDP was projected to increase to $360 billion in 2020 and based on a conservative cost of three percent of GDP, road traffic crashes could cost the Pakistan economy about $11 billion in 2020.

He said a quick glance at the cross-country comparison for fine rates indicates that Pakistan was amongst the few countries where the fines for traffic violations were the least, even after the revision.

In case of over speeding, he said the amount of fine in Pakistan was Rs2,500 whereas it is £1,000 (Rs202,747) in England, 300 to 3,000 dirhams (Rs12,653 to 126,527) in the United Arab Emirates and between 300 and 2,000 riyals (Rs12,391 to 82,604) in Saudi Arabia.

Similarly, Murad Saeed said the fine rate for driving without a licence in Pakistan was Rs5,000, whereas it was £1,000 (Rs202,747) in England, 400-500 dirhams (Rs16,870 to 21,088) in the UAE, and 150-300 riyals (Rs6,195 to 12,391) in Saudi Arabia.

He said one of the major indicators for sustainable development was responsible and compliant behaviour of drivers which was ensured through strict enforcement. He hoped that after the implementation of the increased fines on violations, 50% of accidents would decrease.

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